Bumgarner shelled in Giants' 15-3 loss to Royals


Bumgarner shelled in Giants' 15-3 loss to Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Madison Burgarner is struggling to regain his World Series form.The Kansas City Royals, last in the American League Central last season, battered Burgarner for eight runs on 10 hits, six of them for extra-bases, in beating the Giants 15-3 Friday night. Last October in Game 4 of the World Series, Burgarner allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings in beating Texas.Against the Royals, Burgarner retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced before yielding eight runs in the next two innings."The first three innings I was on the corners and down, too," Burgarner said. "At the end, I don't know if it was fatigue, but I felt good. I think the biggest difference was I started missing over the middle and up and the ball was flat. Sometimes you can do that and get outs, but they were putting really good swings and hitting the ball hard."The 21--year-old left-hander is 1-4 with a 7.17 ERA in seven spring training games. He has allowed 29 hits, including four home runs, in 21 1-3 innings, while striking out 25."Obviously, I'd rather have better results, but I felt like I got some good out of tonight," Burgarner said. "I don't want to read too much into it yet. If we get into the season and it keeps happening, obviously we're going to have to do something. Right now, it's just about getting ready for the season."Bumgarner threw 61 strikes in 86 pitches."It was good to go out there and throw a few more pitches than I have been," he said. "I felt good. I just made some bad pitches. There were a few times when we threw some pitches that I might not throw in the regular season game. You've got to work on them and you've got to throw them. I'm not trying to use that as an excuse. They were definitely seeing the ball good tonight."Alex Gordon led the Royals offense with three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs, raising his RBI total to 20. Kila Ka'aihue had two doubles and three RBIs, while Jeff Francoeur homered, his first since the first exhibition game. Melky Cabrera went 2 for 3 to raise his Cactus League-leading average to .490.The Giants had nine hits in the first three innings before the Royals had one. Royals right-hander Vin Mazzaro allowed three runs on nine hits in the first three innings, but pitched his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second without allowing a run."I definitely made the game a lot harder than it should've been," Mazzaro said. "It was kind of a test for myself. I got in a few jams and got out of it. That's what you're looking for - damage control and keep the runs down, keep the team in the ball game."Overall I thought my stuff was pretty good. Command was an issue a little bit with the fastball. But the other pitches were working really well and I was getting them to chase."Miguel Tejada, Pablo Sandoval and Eli Whiteside each had two hits and an RBI for the Giants.NOTES: The Royals completed three minor league deals. They acquired 1B-3B John Whittleman from Texas for cash. They sent RHP Gaby Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox for future considerations and RHP Alex Caldera to Washington for cash. Whittleman, 24, was a 2005 second-round pick of the Rangers. He hit .215 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs last season with Double-A Frisco and Class A Bakersfield. ... Mike Sweeney, who signed a one-day minor league contract so he could officially retire as a Royal, brought out the Kansas City lineup to the umpires before the game. ... The Royals top the majors with 191 runs.

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors


DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

Following Toronto's 127-125 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan wasn't happy.

His team had almost erased a 27-point deficit and he felt like the officials were helping the Warriors.

"It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8. Some of those calls were terrible, period," DeRozan told reporters after the game.

As you might imagine, the NBA wasn't thrilled with thoses comments and fined DeRozan $15,000 on Tuesday for public criticism of the officiating.

DeRozan's incident is the latest in a long list of greivances between the players and the officials. The two sides met face-to-face in late December and plan to meet again during All-Star weekend in February to discuss the growing tension.

Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?


Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?

Earlier we discussed how the Golden State Warriors have seemingly moved beyond hating on NBA officials (three technical fouls in 18 days is a stunning reversal of their formerly disputatious form), but we may have forgotten one new reason why they have found a more Buddhist approach to the cutthroat world of American competitive sport.

They lack someone new to hate.

Their much-chewed-upon rivalry with the Los Angeles Clippers actually lasted two years, and now the Clippers are busy trying to prevent military incursions into their locker room from the Houston Rockets. Their even more famous archrivalry with the Cleveland Cavaliers seems to be imploding – with the total connivance of the Cavs themselves – before our eyes. Even cutting off their hot water made them laugh when two years ago not letting the Warriors' wives get to the game on time torqued them mightily.

And since we know that you locals desperately need a bête noire for your heroes (even though their biggest foe is actually their own attention spans), let us consider the new candidates.


The Rockets have been among the Warriors’ most persistent contender/pretenders, having faced them in both the first round of the 2017 postseason and the conference finals in 2015. Both ended in 4-1 Warrior wins as part of a greater piece – Golden State is 19-4 against the Rockets in the Warriors’ bad-ass era, 10-2 at home and 9-2 on the road, and has finished an aggregate 59.5 games ahead of the Rockets in the past three and a half years.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include James Harden and Chris Paul, while Rockets fans loathe Draymond Green and Kevin Durant and work their way down from there.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 32,353): 19. The Rockets need to win a playoff series before even matching the Clippers, who as we all know came and went in a moment.


The previous platinum standard in Western Conference basketball, the Spurs have never really gone away, though they have aged. Their pedigree is not in dispute, and Steve Kerr has essentially become the next generation of Gregg Popovich. It is hard to create a rivalry out of such shamelessly mutual admiration.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include . . . uhh, maybe Kawhi Leonard for winning two Defensive Player Of The Year Awards instead of Draymond Green, though that’s not much to go on, frankly. Spurs fans hate Zaza Pachulia for stepping beneath Leonard and ending last year’s series before it started.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 23): 1. If they didn’t have to play against each other, I suspect these two teams would date.


The Thunder’s 3-1 collapse in 2016 is all but ignored now because the Warriors did the same thing one series later, but lifting Kevin Durant was quite the consolation prize for Golden State, and the definitive finger in the eye for the Thunder, who turned their team over completely to Russell Westbrook, for good and ill. Even with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are still trying to relocate their stride.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Westbrook and Anthony for defining the I-need-the-ball-in-my-hands-to-function generation, and owner Clay Bennett for Seattle SuperSonics nostalgics. Thunder frans hate Durant, followed by Durant, Durant, Kim Jong-un, Durant, leprosy, Draymond Green’s foot, and Durant.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 440): 220. Westbrook is a human lightning rod, Anthony is the antithesis of what Warriors now regard basketball (they’d have loved him a quarter-century ago), and Stephen Adams for getting his goolies in the way of Green’s foot. Plus, some savvy Warrior fans can blame OKC for extending their heroes to seven games, thus making the final against Cleveland that much more difficult. This could work, at least in the short term.


Damian Lillard is a much-beloved local. Plus, the Blazers have never interfered in the Warriors’ universe save their 1-8 postseason record. There are no truly hateable players on either side, though Stephen Curry threw his first mouthpiece in Portland, and Green is a perennial.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 1): 0.


The new pretender to throne, with the Eastern Conference’s version of Kerr in Brad Stevens. Even better since taking advantage of Kyrie Irving’s weariness with LeBron James, and until proven otherwise the team the Warriors should most concern themselves with.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Irving, who made the only shot in the last five minutes of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, while Celtics fans hate Durant for not signing with them.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 67.7): 26, though this will rise if the two teams meet in the Finals. The last time they did, Bill Russell owned basketball.


Still too remote to adequately quantify, though Toronto, Miami and Milwaukee are clearly difficult matches for the Warriors. If you put them together, Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Hassan Whiteside with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe coming off the bench, coached by either Eric Spoelstra or Jason Kidd, would make a fun team for the Warriors to play against. Probably not functional, but fun.

And finally:


Some decade the two teams’ geographical proximity will matter, but for now, they remain essentially two full professional leagues away from each other. We just mentioned them so Kings fans wouldn’t feel any more slighted than they already do.